NCEI regional ocean climatologies are ocean climate analyses derived from the World Ocean Database (WOD) that provide detailed insight into the state and long-term variability of climatologically, economically, and ecologically important regions that substantially contribute to earth and ocean climate change. To improve scientific foundation and reference for multi-disciplinary studies of these regions, NCEI develops high-resolution, quality-controlled, multidecadal RCs with annual, seasonal, and monthly means for temperature, salinity, and other variables found in the WOD.
Regional Ocean Climatologies are developed using objective analysis of irregularly distributed data to render smooth but realistic representations of WOD ocean variables on a regular grid. This technique can only be applied effectively in areas with enough data coverage to support a high (1/10° or better) horizontal resolution grid so that mesoscale activity (meandering of jet streams, eddies, large vortexes, and filaments) can be usably and accurately mapped. Using the Northwest Atlantic RC as a case study, the following papers by Seidov et al (2018, 2019) provide a detailed explanation of the scientific foundation, development process, and preliminary application methods for high-resolution RCs.
Seidov, D., Mishonov, A., Reagan, J., Baranova, O., Cross, S., & Parsons, R. (2018). Regional Climatology of the Northwest Atlantic Ocean: High-Resolution Mapping of Ocean Structure and Change. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 99(10), 2129-2138.
Seidov, D., Mishonov, A., Reagan, J., & Parsons, R. (2019). Eddy-Resolving In Situ Ocean Climatologies of Temperature and Salinity in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 124(1), 41-58.
The Southwest North Atlantic (SWNA) region is a resource-rich coastal zone with abundant fisheries and other material resources adjacent to the area covered by the Northwest Atlantic Regional Climatology. Together, these products provide complete coverage of the Gulf Stream system, which is critical to northward heat transport and the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation.
The Greenland, Iceland, and Norwegian Seas (GINS) are gateways for water exchange between the North Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic that play a key role in the global climate system. The presence of oil, fisheries, and other natural and material resources have spurred intensive observation and research in the region. Version 2 features significant upgrades to individual decadal fields.
The Northeast Pacific (NEP) is one of the most productive ecosystems in the World Ocean, home to both the California Current System (CCS) and a large coastal upwelling zone along the west coast of North America. The economic and climatic importance of the CCS has prompted intensive observation and research over the decades, yielding significant oceanographic data arrays of the area and its adjacent regions.
The Northern North Pacific (NNP) is a resource-rich coastal zone with abundant fisheries and other material resources. This climatology is based on more than 100 years’ worth of observations, and it incorporates a significant amount of data not previously available to the public.
The Northwest Atlantic (NWA) is a resource rich coastal zone with abundant fisheries and other material resources. The region includes The Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current System, key features that facilitate northward heat transport and Meridional Overturning Circulation in the Atlantic Ocean. It was created as part of the NOAA-wide Sustained Marine Ecosystem in Changing Climate (SMECC) Project, and includes previously unavailable data.
This climatology resulted from a collaboration between the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Russia), the Geophysical Institute of the University of Bergen (Norway) and NCEI (USA). While not a native NCEI project, it correlates well with the ensemble of completed and ongoing NCEI regional climatologies. Although the Nordic Seas Atlas and recently published GINS Regional Climatology share some common features, but differ substantially enough to serve as complementary products.
The Arctic Ocean is a hub of globally significant, intersecting economic and environmental activity and interest. Climate change has disproportionately impacted the region, resulting in rising ocean temperatures and continued loss of summer sea ice. Natural resource exploration and extraction initiatives also have an increased presence and impact within the region.
The East Asian Seas Regional Climatology Version 2.0 is an update to the preliminary May 2012 release, and includes new temperature and salinity data spanning from 1804 through 2013. The climatology is a set of objectively analyzed climatological fields of temperature and salinity at standard depth levels in the East Asian Marginal Seas.
The Gulf of Mexico is an economically and ecologically productive region that is particularly vulnerable to human impact due to oil drilling and intense fishing. It is a regionally and globally important body of water that connects to the Gulf Stream system via the Florida Current, and features a diverse collection of aquatic habitats. Long term climate variability within the region can impact Gulf Stream strength and oceanic heat transport, as well as the economic activity and ecological stability of the entire Northwest Atlantic. This climatology serves as a physical oceanography baseline for NOAA Gulf of Mexico Data Atlas.